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RUSTY WRI In his home state of Michigan, Rusty Wright has been hailed as the most compelling blues rock act to emerge from the state in a decade, receiving accolades from Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, W.C. Clark, members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet, and even Question Mark of the iconic 1960s band Question Mark & the Mysterians. Most recently, the Rusty Wright Band was selected from thousands of submissions as a top finalist in the Gulf Coast Jam’s national Pepsi Southern Original Challenge. “The top prize was a Gulf Coast Jam main stage slot opening for Kid Rock. Now, this was a country music event. We are not a country band. Not even close. We felt like an alien spaceship parked in the middle of nine young country acts,” says a grinning Wright. “We didn’t even recall submitting the band months earlier, but we’d traveled eight hours to get there so we played that competition it like it was a stadium gig. In the end, the first place act scored one more point than we did. We performed at the Gulf Coast Jam and the festival after party the following night and then drove like crazy to get home because Hurricane Dorian was on its way.” A masterful lyric storyteller who punctuates his songs with world-class guitar work, Wright’s innovative sound is a hot rod fusing of Texas-style blues, swinging boogie and Southern rock. Wright’s song lyrics run the gamut: ballads like “Trouble’s Always Knockin” follow the traditional blues path while the powerful “No Man is an Island” was inspired by a news story about an autistic child. “Black Hat Boogie” is a high-energy ode to computer hackers, and the tongue-in-cheek “Alarm Clock Blues” pays homage to the “single most nefarious gadget invented by the mind of man.” “I’m a creature of extremes,” he laughs. “My songs are all over the place but they make for an interesting show. A woman told us recently our show was like a roller coaster ride that left her breathless but she hadn’t wanted it to end. I think that’s one of the best compliments I could ever hope for.” After spending a decade in Michigan building their fan base and compiling a body of work that includes five acclaimed albums; a PBS concert; induction into the International Blues Hall of Fame®; film soundtracks, global airplay; award nominations, and two go-rounds at the International Blues Challenge representing Detroit, fans of the Rusty Wright Band thought the group might pack up their credentials and head to one of the major music centers to try for wider exposure. Instead, Rusty and Laurie Wright surprised everyone by moving to Florida. The couple put their Michigan home up for sale, bid their Northern bandmates farewell, and in December 2015 they rolled across the Florida state line in a 35-foot motor home they dubbed “Blue Lulu.” “In the end, Laurie and I couldn’t take the winter weather anymore, says Wright. “It was tough leaving our bandmates behind, but their families weren’t on board for such a drastic move.” Together since 1996 and musical partners since 1998, the couple often complete one another’s thoughts and sentences. 2


IGHT BAND Starting over almost from scratch after 12 years wasn’t something they anticipated. “We had to cut back on long distance touring as we dealt with the move, my dad’s estate and other ‘life stuff’. That was hard. We hated the thought of losing the momentum we’d worked so hard for, but it couldn’t be helped. There have been plenty of bumps and challenges. Now we can focus on music again and we’re working with two great guys. Doors are opening to us once more and we’re looking forward to an excellent 2020,” adds Laurie. “Nic Allen is a monster bassist/vocalist who has been with the band three years. Nashville drummer Ed Jones joined the band in April. We’ve been recording the new album at a world class studio in Clearwater and Rusty comes home from each session more inspired than ever.” Between band shows, the Wrights perform as a duo, often logging more than 1,000 miles per week. Two shows per day and 70-hour weeks are a common occurrence. “We were unhealthy and frazzled when we moved here and we had to make changes to keep up with this lifestyle. We started the Keto diet a year ago and between the two of us have lost 160 pounds. We feel at least 20 years younger. I can hardly keep up with all of the new music flowing through me. I’m a happy guy.” More at rustywrightband.com. NOVEMBER 9 DUNEDIN WINES THE BLUES DUNEDIN

NOVEMBER 10 TREASURE COAST HARLEY DAVIDSON STUART

NOVEMBER 17 COLORAMA EVENT CENTER HUDSON

DECEMBER 6 RIVERWALK SPLASH PARK BRADENTON

DECEMBER 7 THE MUSIC RANCH LAKELAND

DECEMBER 31 GATOR MACK’S LAKE WALES

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S P O T L I G H T j a z z NOVEMBER 8 BLUE BAMBOO CENTER WINTER PARK NOVEMBER 10 ROCKLEDGE COUNTRY CLUB ROCKLEDGE

Richie Cole

Richie started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old in his home town of Trenton, New Jersey. InNOVEMBER 15 fluenced by Sonny Rollins HEIDI’S JAZZ CLUB and Charlie Parker, Cole’s COCOA BEACH talent and dedication won him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. His professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band. And after stints with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Cole formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, doing a great deal to popularize bebop and his own ‘Alto Madness’ style in the ’70s and early ’80s. Cole has performed and recorded with the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Tom Waits and Nancy Wilson, to name just a few. He has performed at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall, and gave a command performance for the Queen of England. Cole has recorded more than 50 albums, including his 1997 Leonard Bernstein tribute album, Richie Cole Plays West Side Story, and 2011’s Castle Bop, a live recording with Emil Viklicky. A prolific composer, Cole also finds time to arrange for full big bands, symphony orchestras and frequent performances at jazz festivals worldwide. Cole was appointed to the Board of the National Jazz Service Organization and the Board for the National Endowment for the Arts. He is also a charter member of the International Association of Jazz Educators. In 2005 he was awarded the State of California Congressional Certificate of Lifetime Achievement in Jazz. More at richie cole.com.

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Cottondale Swamp Proudly hailing from west Central Florida, Cottondale Swamp’s 2016 debut album Leave Me On The Suwannee parties hard, thinks deeply, feels intensely and revels in the back-road, small-town, swampy underbelly of our great state. Soon another dose of their Southern rock/Americana/classic country/ honky-tonk mix can be heard on their upcoming release, Welcome to Cottondale Swamp. Drummer Ken Bailey served as Technical Director and Staff Drummer at the world-famous Power Station recording facility for 16 years, working on projects with top stars like U2, Eric Clapton, Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson and countless movie soundtracks. Bassist Michael Hoag has played with a long list of bands, including gigs with heroes such as Dickey Betts, Leon Russell and Cheap Trick. Guitarist Fran Massucci melded his classic rock influence with his love of country outlaws old into the New England-based band Shotgun Siren. But once relocated to Florida’s sunnier climes, Massuci still needed to find a bluesy, rocking, outlaw country band. Enter Cottondale Swamp. Florida-born vocalist and guitarist Doug Smith performed in numerous Tampa area bands including Mr. Sixty, Dimestore Billie and The Butch Ryan Ban before rounding out the Swamp lineup in 2018. Get a taste of the band’s sound on November 1 at 2:00pm when they’ll appear on WMNF88.5FM’s Live Music Showcase. More at cottondaleswamp.com.

NOVEMBER 9 DUNEDIN WINES THE BLUES DUNEDIN

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Marshall Gilkes

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It seems unlikely that an individual sound would be able to express itself in such diverse contexts as the lush impressionism of the Maria Schneider Orchestra; the exotic chamber jazz of Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda’s trio; or the fiery combustion of New York’s thriving Latin music scene. But listen to the four albums that Marshall Gilkes has released under his own name and it immediately becomes clear how the versatile trombonist can integrate myriad influences into a singular and distinctive voice. It’s a rare combination that has made Gilkes an in-demand performer, composer, sideman, and clinician since his arrival in New York City in the late 1990s. He spent the next 12 years working steadily as a sideman while honing his own individual voice. In the ensuing years he’s played and recorded with a staggering variety of artists and ensembles including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Christian McBride Big Band, and Barbra Streisand. In 2003 Gilkes was a finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and won the up and coming trombonist in Downbeat magazine’s 2017 Critics Poll. Gilkes released his debut as a leader, Edenderry, in 2004 with a quartet. He followed that with the quintet recordings Lost Words in 2008 and Sound Stories in 2012. His latest release, 2015’s Köln teams Gilkes with the German WDR Big Band, with whom he was a member from 2010-2013. He returned to New York in 2014, and continues to work regularly while teaching and offering master classes. More at marshallgilkes.com.

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Joe Louis Walker

NOVEMBER 14 FUNKY BISCUIT BOCA RATON

Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner Joe Louis Walker celebrates a career that exceeds a half a century. Looking back on his rich NOVEMBER 16 history, Walker shares, “I’d LAKE CONCORD PARK like to be known for the CASSELBERRY credibility of a lifetime of being true to my music and NOVEMBER 17 the blues… I’d like to think MOJO KITCHEN that when someone puts JACKSONVILLE on one of my records they NOVEMBER 8 would know from the first notes, ‘That’s Joe Louis Walker.’”A true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, uniquely expressive singer and prolific songwriter, he has toured extensively throughout his career, performed at the world’s top music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans. Walker’s 1986 debut album Cold Is the Night announced his arrival in stunning fashion, and his subsequent output has only served to further establish him as one of today’s leading bluesmen. By his mid-teens, Walker was a known entity on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, playing blues with an occasional foray into psychedelic rock. After a decade-long foray into gospel with the Spiritual Corinthians, Walker was inspired to embrace his blues roots again. He assembled the Boss Talkers, and throughout the 1990s merged many of his gospel, jazz, soul, funk and rock influences with his trademark blues sensibilities. NPR Music has called Walker “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues.” His latest release, Journey to the Heart of the Blues with Bruce Katz and Giles Robson, won the 2019 Blues Music Award for Acoustic album of the year. More at joelouis walker. com. NOVEMBER 15 SKIPPER’S SMOKEHOUSE TAMPA

FROM A PHOTO BY ARNIE GOODMAN

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Tim Ries

Saxophonist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator Tim Ries received degrees from both The University of North Texas and The University of Michigan. His unique and varied career began in 1983 with the great Maynard Ferguson. Ries moved to New York City in 1985 and since then his performing and recording credits are a veritable who’s who: pop/rock’s Rolling Stones from 1999 to the present, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson and Lyle Lovett, plus jazz greats Jack DeJohnette, Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Tony Bennett and Danilo Perez. Ries was a member of the Prism Saxophone Quartet from 1993-2003. He has released nine CDs as a leader. His last two discs, Tim Ries Quintet and Tim Ries Quintet Vol II, are live performances at Smalls Jazz Club. In 2005 and 2008 respectively, he released The Rolling Stones Project and Stones World, both are his versions of Stones classics arranged in jazz and world music genres. Both CDs have drawn rave reviews across the globe. Guest artists featured on these discs include all four Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, and many more. His latest collaborations are performing with the great flamenco dancer Sara Baras and with The East Gipsy Band from Budapest. 2019’s Life Changes is the prolific artist’s most recent release. Ries has also taught saxophone and composition at The New School, Rutgers University, The City University of New York and The University of Toronto. This Jazz Roots show, British Invasion – Latin Style, boasts an impressive lineup. More at timries.com.

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Lauren Anderson While soulful rocker Lauren Anderson claims a powerful list of influences — from Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt to Joss Stone and Christina NOVEMBER 7 Aguilera — Anderson was SCALLOP classically trained throughREPUBLIC out most of her early life in PORT ST. JOE Chicago. She began classical NOVEMBER 8 piano lessons at age eight, ARTS GARAGE sang in several choirs, and DELRAY BEACH started classical voice lessons in high school, obtaining a bachelors degree in music with an emphasis on voice. Initially she planned on becoming an opera singer, but quickly realized that rock and soul music were more her style. Earning her masters degree in music therapy, Anderson worked for several years as a music therapist on a pediatric unit and at a school for at-risk youth. But her love of music led her to begin performing solo gigs, and she soon put together a full band. Anderson’s official debut EP, 2014’s Do & Hope and first full-length CD, 2015’s Truly Me, were followed by 2017’s The Game, which cracked the Top 50 of the Billboard Blues chart for five weeks straight. Her latest release, Won’t Stay Down, showcases her supersized vocals and sharp songwriting, which have previously earned the Chicago native a Midwest Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, as well as a first-place finish in the 2018 Wing Dang Doodle Competition. Recorded in her adopted hometown of Nashville and largely self-produced, Won’t Stay Down is a bluesy battle cry from an artist who has one foot planted in the territory of her influences and the other pointed in an unexplored direction. More at lauren anderson music.com. NOVEMBER 6 JUNCTION AT MONROE TALLAHASSEE

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Stephen Scott This year, jazz pianist and keyboardist Stephen Scott joined the faculty at the FIU School of Music. He has secured his membership in what author Stanley Crouch calls, “the inventive elect.” Scott’s recordings – Something to Consider, Aminah’s Dream, Renaissance, The Beautiful Thing and The Vision Quest – all written, arranged and produced by Scott, document his evolution as a pianist, composer, bandleader and “one of the leading lights not only of his generation but also of the mainstream jazz renaissance.” With a career that spans more than 30 years, he has performed and or recorded with a lengthy list of jazz greats. He began his career at age 14 performing with former ‘Basie’ trumpeter Dave Burns and soon after at age 17, landed a gig with vocalist Betty Carter. He spent nearly ten years as pianist with saxophonist Sonny Rollins and 20 years with bassist Ron Carter. Scott has been involved with the Grammy Award-winning recordings of Betty Carter’s Look What I Got, Joe Henderson’s Lush Life, and This is What I Do and Without A Song: The 9/11 Concert, both with Sonny Rollins. Scott’s compositions and arrangements have been played and or recorded by many other artists. His Postcards From Home, commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center, was performed by the Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. A longtime educator, Scott is presently an instructor at Palm Beach State College and offers private instruction on various instruments and styles. More at fiu.edu.

NOVEMBER 6 WITH THE FIU FACULTY JAZZ QUARTET FIU MUSIC FESTIVAL MIAMI

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S P O T L I G H T NOVEMBER 8 BRADFORDVILLE BLUES CLUB TALLAHASSEE NOVEMBER 10 CENTER BAR BONITA SPRINGS NOVEMBER 13 BRADENTON WOMEN’S CLUB BRADENTON NOVEMBER 15 BO DIDDLEY PLAZA GAINESVILLE NOVEMBER 17 SHARK BAR FORT MYERS NOVEMBER 20 ENGLEWOODS ON DEARBORN ENGLEWOOD NOVEMBER 23 BUCKINGHAM BLUES BAR TALLAHASSEE

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Liz Mandeville After arriving in Chicago in the early 1980s, Liz Mandeville met bassist Aron Burton, who became her musical mentor. The two worked together for five years, and for more than three decades Mandeville has honed her craft in Chicago’s prestigious blues venues, along with every major venue and festival in the Midwest, and extensive national and international tours. In 2013, she was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame as a Master Artist. With influences such as Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor and Luther Allison, Mandeville is known for her big voice, swingin’ guitar playing and smart-and-sassy stage banter. All seven of her previous criticallyacclaimed CDs have charted in the Top 10, and Mandeville writes almost every song herself. While she’s best known for her tongue-in-cheek swing tune, “Scratch the Kitty,” Mandeville has won awards and accolades including the American Roots Music Award, The USA and International Songwriting Contests, and she was once voted Best Blues Singer in Chicago. As a young girl, Mandeville was a natural mimic, and sang in all the school musicals. Studies in voice and jazz theory at Columbia College provided a classical foundation that allows Mandeville to use her voice like an athlete. Decades of touring, writing and recording honed her improvisational skills and polished her stagecraft. Now, winding her steely, muscular four-octave voice around her distinctly original songs, Mandeville delivers sassy, soul-drenched blues for the new millennium. More at lizmandeville.com.

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Kate Reid

Bicoastal jazz singer and pianist Kate Reid appears in duo, trio and quartet ensembles at jazz venues in the Los Angeles and Miami areas. She performs with Miami pianists Martin Bejerano and Tal Cohen, guitarist John Hart and trumpet player John Daversa and his Progressive Big Band, and she is a featured performer presented by the Miami Jazz Co-op. Reid’s latest release, The Love I’m In, features tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts and pianist Otmaro Ruiz. Featuring tunes from the American songbook, the CD and has received extensive airplay on jazz radio stations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and South Africa. She has worked with such top artists as John Clayton, Robin Eubanks, Jon Hendricks and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Reid is highly sought-after as a guest artist, conductor and returning clinician and adjudicator at jazz and choral festivals through the U.S. and Canada. As a working studio/session singer in Los Angeles, Reid’s film credits include Planes, Star Trek Into Darkness, Oz-The Great and Powerful and Men In Black III. She has lent her voice to network television series, commercial spots for Ace Hardware and T-Mobile, and backing vocals for artists MUSE, X Japan and Josh Groban. Reid also co-authored the GLEE Vocal Method book. An associate professor of jazz voice in the Studio Music and Jazz department and Director of Jazz Vocal Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, Reid earned a MM and DMA in Jazz Vocal Performance from her alma mater. More at katereidmusic.com.

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S P O T L I G H T b l u e s NOVEMBER 12 CAFÉ 11 SAINT AUGUSTINE NOVEMBER 13 TERRA FERMATA STUART

Odds Lane

With their uniquely blended mix of driving blues-rock riffs and solid NOVEMBER 14 THE BLUE ROOSTER grooves with an overall SARASOTA pop sensibility, Odds Lane creates music that fuses NOVEMBER 15 diverse influences from FUNKY BISCUIT a wide range of styles BOCA RATON while maintaining the NOVEMBER 16 integrity of their origiBLUES BEER FEST nal sound. The musical CASSELBERRY partnership of songwriters NOVEMBER 17 Doug Byrkit and Brian EARL’S HIDEAWAY Zielie goes back to their SEBASTIAN high school years. This close musical relationship has now lasted more than 25 years and found them touring nationally and internationally with a number of artists. Fresh out of college, Byrkit and Zielie were hired by Mike Zito as the rhythm section for his new band. The trio played clubs around the St. Louis area and were soon working seven nights a week. In the late 1990s they recorded Blue Room, which was recently remastered and released on Ruf Records to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Odds Lane was formed in 2003 and they began recording and playing live to a steadily growing fan base. As part of an effort to promote emerging artists, they were invited to record at legendary Sun Studios, and they soon released the first of several projects as independent songwriters in 2004. Their 2012 release Dark Matters garnered Byrkit an ASCAP Plus Songwriting Award. With Lost & Found, Odds Lane’s 2019 release on Gulf Coast Records, they have come full circle with a collection of eleven songs influenced by their South St. Louis blues rock/funk roots. The group recently won Best Rock Artist at the Los Angeles Music Critic Awards. More at oddslane. com.

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S P O T L I G H T j a z z NOVEMBER 22 BROWARD CENTER FORT LAUDERDALE

Nella

Like a revelation, Nella’s voice reveals flamenco and Latin folk music with hints of American jazz and blues. Her vocals have captivated music lovers – among them members of the Latin Academy of Recording, which nominated her for a Latin Grammy Best New Artist award. (Winners will be announced on November 14.) Nella’s background is as diverse as her musical influences. She was born Marianella Rojas in Isla Margarita off Venezuela’s northeastern coast. In 2011, she moved to the U.S. to enroll at Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, she fell in love with Spanish “copla” and flamenco traditions, and joined a trio that played Latin folk music infused with jazz and pop. Nella’s big break came when she met Grammy-winning Spanish guitarist and producer Javier Limon, who runs a Latin music program at Berklee. One night, Limon heard Nella sing an a cappella version of “La Negra Atilia,” an old Venezuelan folk song, and he immediately knew she had something special. The two started working together, and Nella sang the Limon-composed title track for the 2013 film Everybody Knows, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, and had a small role in the film. In May, Nella released her debut album Voy, for which Limon wrote the music and lyrics for 12 of the album’s 13 tracks. Nella is promoting the album on her first U.S. tour with shows that reflect the album’s strippeddown vibe. More at nella rojas.com.

NOVEMBER 23 SMDCAC CUTLER BAY

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S P O T L I G H T NOVEMBER 9 BLUE TAVERN TALLAHASSEE

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Scott Ainslee

Armed with a variety of instruments – vintage guitars, a fretless gourd banjo, a cigar box guitar – and carefully chosen historical personal anecdotes of his encounters with senior musicians across the South, Scott Ainslie brings the history, roots music, and sounds of America alive. In educational teaching concerts, workshops, and school residencies, Ainslie explores the African and European roots of American music and culture. His easy, conversational way with audiences and cross-disciplinary approach to the music consistently garner rave reviews. Ainslie has six solo CDs to his name and maintains an active recording, performing, and teaching schedule. His most recent CD is 2014’s award-winning collection of songs played on a 1934 Gibson archtop, The Last Shot Got Him. He has received numerous awards and grants for his work documenting and presenting traditional music. He has been a Public Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill, and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Ainslie transcribed the original recordings and published a book on Delta blues legend Robert Johnson and has an instructional DVD on Johnson’s guitar work. Highlights on his list of awards include an Indie (the Independent Weekly Triangle Arts Award, Durham, NC) and the National Slide Guitar Festivals’ Living Heritage Award, both in 2000. As a traditional musician with expertise in Piedmont and Delta blues as well as Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, Ainslie specializes in programs on the European and African roots of American music and culture. More at scottainslie.com.

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S P O T L I G H T NOVEMBER 13 BROWARD CENTER FT. LAUDERDALE

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Bobby Rodriguez

The Bobby Rodriguez Orchestra is a 19-piece Big Band formed in 1981 to play swing and bebop from the 1940s. As the years progressed, their repertoire expanded and today the band also incorporates jazz, pop and Latin influences. The band has performed for numerous corporate clients, municipalities and charitable organizations around the country. Musicians in the band have worked with the Miami Sound Machine, Stan Kenton, and Woody Herman & Count Basie Orchestras. A third of the band members have been playing with the band for over 20 years. A native New Yorker born in Harlem, Bobby Rodriguez is a singer, actor, producer, director and founder of the Florida Renaissance Festival. In 1970 he joined Joey Dee & The Starliters, which toured the USA and was the opening act for the first Rock & Roll Revival at Madison Square Garden to 22,000 fans. In 1976, Rodriguez moved to Florida to open and perform at Beethoven’s, which soon became Fort Lauderdale’s leading supper club, and where he stayed until 1980. While at Beethoven’s, Bobby garnered two Carbonell Awards and a third nomination for the club’s innovative and ever-changing shows. He then went on to form a local all-star Big Band and in 1981 launched Bobby Rodriguez Productions, his own special events and entertainment agency, which still operates today. For this Gold Coast Jazz Society event, the Orchestra will be joined by special guest Grammy-winning jazz flautist Nestor Torres for a Tribute to Broadway and Hollywood. Find him on Facebook.

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Profile for JazzBluesFlorida.com

Jazz & Blues Florida November 2019  

Florida's monthly online guide to live jazz & blues in clubs, concerts and festivals featuring profiles of artists performing in Florida's c...

Jazz & Blues Florida November 2019  

Florida's monthly online guide to live jazz & blues in clubs, concerts and festivals featuring profiles of artists performing in Florida's c...